Back in 2009, a friend of mine, the Rev. Michael Waters wrote an article which was published here: http://www.dallassouthnews.org/2009/12/what-is-the-value-of-bible-literacy/
In that article, he examined the results of a loss of Bible literacy in America and the need for a return to the Bible in American culture.
Upon reading the article, my heart and mind immediately went to the question of, “why?”
Why is it that American society has lost the Bible as a central gathering point of our culture? Why is it that even among churchgoers most know very little of what is contained on the pages of the Bible?
The following is my take, with some of it coming from a comment I wrote almost three years ago on Facebook about the article.
I suspect a key reason why Bible literacy has been on such a decline over the last 60 years is mostly due to the lack of a faithful, accurate and relevant use of Scripture in the preaching of most American pulpits.
Considering that 80-60 years ago most American seminaries began to undermine the authority of Scripture through teaching that made the Bible seem completely irrelevant, inaccurate, useless, uninspired and untrustworthy, it makes sense.
There are many things in the Bible which offend and stir us to action, yet there are many frightened cowards who stand at the pulpit and out of a desire to win the accolades and good feelings of men preach a Christless, secular humanistic and ultimately empty gospel that is not the Gospel at all.
God is good. Humanity is evil. In love, Jesus took the punishment we deserved. Faith in Him and repentance from sin towards God leads to a transformed life, and multiple transformed lives lead to a transformed community that acts as the hands and feet of Jesus. If the community fails to act in a transformative manner, I must wonder if the individuals within that community have ever been transformed themselves.
Accurate and relevant Gospel preaching in the midst of dedicated prayer is the desperate need of the church today, yet so few have the courage or faith to rise to the task. Only when we hear the kind of preaching done by men of prayer and the Bible like Wesley, Whitefield, Spurgeon, Edwards, etc. will we see the church rise as the dominant power and major source of positive social change in American life again.
And when will that preaching be heard again? When people like me, and you, and other hungry Christians pay the price of a fasted lifestyle; turning away from many hours of entertainment, news and social media each day, to discovering the overwhelming beauty of God found in the pages of the Bible along with the secret place of prayer.
Only when God becomes the greatest beauty our souls continually behold, will He also become the most continually demonstrated and discussed part of our lives.